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Hospital Threw Baby Away
By CLARE MASTERS and LILLIAN SALEH

THE heartbroken parents of the stillborn baby girl who went missing from a Sydney hospital are bracing themselves for the worst possible news – their daughter was accidentally thrown away.

Image
Error: Stephen Boyages tries to explain the missing body. Pic: Daniel Griffiths

Blacktown Hospital's most senior executive has told the family the most likely scenario is the baby was disposed of in "a tragic mistake".

The 33-year-old mother from Western Sydney gave birth to a girl she later named Angelina in an ambulance on the way to Blacktown Hospital three weeks ago.

Nine days later she was told by a hospital priest that the baby had "gone missing".

The Daily Telegraph yesterday asked Western Sydney Area Health Service chief executive Stephen Boyages if he expected the investigation would conclude Angelina had been disposed of and he was forced to concede this was the most likely scenario.

"I have indicated to the parents that is my expectation," he said.

"We unreservedly apologise for what appears to be a tragic mistake."

The distressed father of the baby said yesterday the family is desperate for an explanation.

"We don't know who we can trust. We can't trust anybody," he said.

The family said they had come to terms with the death of their daughter but could never recover from the loss of her body and added "life could not be that cruel".

"We have nothing left," they said in a statement.

Despite four investigations into the disappearance, Blacktown Hospital is still clueless as to how the mistake could have been made and are calling the blunder "a systems error".

"Usually a system error, our systems have not been strong enough," Professor Boyages said. "We will leave no stone uncovered until we determine how this situation can arise."

Yet The Daily Telegraph understands hospital staff knew the baby was missing on May 19 – five days after she was born – but did not tell the family until three days later.

Opposition spokeswoman Jillian Skinner said the baby's disappearance has been "shrouded in secrecy".

An internal hospital report was handed to the State Government last Friday but was unable to even get the baby's birthdate or age correct.

"We know the birthdate was May 14, we know that the baby was stillborn at 24 weeks," Professor Boyages said.

But the mother actually gave birth on May 13 and has said Angelina was 28 weeks old.

An investigation is being conducted by an independent party who will deliver their findings on Tuesday.

Professor Boyages said if the finding is that Angelina was thrown away by mistake there is no way of proving how and when it happened.

Angelina's father said the last time they saw their daughter was when she was taken from the arms of her sleeping mother, hours after she was stillborn on the way to hospital.

"All we want is answers. That's all. (Political promises) don't mean anything," he said.

Source Daily Telegraph

Last Updated ( Jun 02, 2006 at 03:32 PM )